Iran Vows Not to Retreat From its Nuclear Program

Posted November 9th, 2011 at 6:25 am (UTC-5)
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Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says his county will not retreat “an iota” from its nuclear path, in the wake of a report that raises concerns Tehran is seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

He also rejected the findings of the report by the International Atomic Energy Agency while speaking at a rally shown Wednesday on Iranian state television.

On Tuesday, the IAEA said it had “credible” information that Tehran had engaged in activities aimed at developing nuclear weapons.

In its report, the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog agency said it had “serious concern” about the information indicating Iran has worked on a nuclear weapon design, including the “testing of components.”

Some world powers have long suspected that Iran has nuclear weapons ambitions — a charge Tehran has repeatedly denied.

The European Union said Wednesday that the IAEA report “seriously aggravates existing concerns” about Iran's nuclear program.

Meanwhile, France said world powers need to impose “unprecedented” sanctions on Iran if it rejects cooperation on its nuclear program. The U.N. Security Council has already imposed four rounds of sanctions on Iran.

On Tuesday, the U.S. said the report may lead it to impose additional sanctions on Iran.

China and Russia have taken a different stance. China said Wednesday that it is still studying the IAEA report and called for a peaceful resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue.

Russia criticized the IAEA for distributing the report to the agency's 35-nation governing board. In a statement Tuesday, the Russian foreign ministry said the move appeared to be intended to prevent a diplomatic solution to the dispute at a time when there is a chance for renewed talks between Iran and world powers.